John B. Claiborne (1812-1874) is a patriarch for one of the main branches of the family, with others originating from his two brothers William Divine Claybourn (1819-1896) and James T. Clayborn (1822-1900). These three brothers all settled in different regions of the country and also spelled the surname differently, and as a result they represent a sort of fork in the road for the family’s history.
William and his children lived in southern Illinois and fought and shed blood supporting the Union during the American Civil War. James and his family lived in Tennessee but remained loyal to the Union throughout the conflict.
John moved from Tennessee to Arkansas in 1859 just before the war broke out, and because some of his sons fought for the Confederacy we have long believed that his branch supported the southern cause. However, recent findings from the Southern Claims Commission now conclusively support that John had in fact remain an ardent Union supporter and suffered much because of it. Additionally, while three of his sons and a son-in-law did fight for the Confederacy, two of them were conscripted (or drafted) against their will. You can now read about these many fascinating updates through the pages of John and separate pages of some of his children:
John B. Claiborne (1812 – 1847)
- Matilda Francis Claiborne (1838 – 1888)
- John H. Claiborne (1842 – 1932)
- Arthur Smith Claiborne (1847 – 1936)